Monday, December 13, 2010

Saint Lucia Day


Kirsten, my favorite girl of all, is Swedish.  And today, December 13, is one of the most important days on the Swedish Calendar.  It marks the longest winter night, and it is also Saint Lucia Day.  The story of Saint Lucia is that she was a young Christian girl who secretly brought food to persecuted Christians in Rome.  She would wear a wreath of candles around her head so that she would have light, and have both hands free so she could carry more stuff.  Swedes celebrate this traditional day in many ways, but one of the traditions is that the oldest daughter of the family, in the darkness before dawn, will carry a tray of coffee and treats from room to room.  These treats could be St. Lucia Buns, Pepparkakor Cookies, or any other treat.

In order to help Kirsten celebrate St. Lucia Day, we dressed her in her traditional St. Lucia Outift.  This includes a white dress with a red sash around it, and a crown made of Lingonberry branches with candles around her head.  Next, we baked St. Lucia buns to help Kirsten begin her Yuletide Celebration!
The St. Lucia Buns in the oven
Finished St. Lucia Buns
Kirsten's Mini St. Lucia Buns.  Can you guess which one is fake?
Have one!

Even the cats wanted to share a bun.  Well, mostly they wanted to steal a bun.

Happy St. Lucia Day!

If you are interested in making your own St. Lucia Buns, here is the recipe we used:
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon water
24 raisins

1.  Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat.  Cut the butter into small pieces.  Add the butter pieces to the warm milk and stir.  Then turn off the heat.
2.  Measure the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Stir well.  Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes.
3.  Add the warm milk and melted butter to the yeast.  Stir in the sugar, 1 egg, salt, and saffron.  Then add 1.5 cups flour and stir until smooth.
4.  Add enough of the remaining flour so that you can shape the dough into a ball.  Save some of the remaining flour for kneading the dough.
5.  Put the dough onto a floured cutting board.  Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough. 
6.  After 5-10 minutes of kneading, you will have a smooth ball of dough.  It should spring back when you poke it with your finger.  Cover the dough with the towel and let it rest.
7.  Spread cooking oil in a large bowl.  Roll the dough in the oil until it is coated.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set it in a warm place to rise.  After 45 minutes, the dough should be twice as large.  If not, check it again in 15 minutes.
8.  Punch down the dough.  Divide it into 6 sections.  Take 1 section and divide it in half.  Roll each half into an 8-inch rope.  Cross the 2 ropes in the middle.  Then coil the ends in tight circles.  Make 5 more buns in the same way.
9.  Place the buns 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover with the towel.  Let the buns rise for about 30 to 45 minutes until they are double in size.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while they are rising.
10.  Mix the other egg and water with the fork in the small bowl.  Brush the mixture lightly over the top of each bun.  Decorate the buns with raisins.
11.  Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes.  When the buns are golden brown, move them to a wire rack to cool.

I hope you will enjoy making St. Lucia Buns as much as I did :)

Decorating The Christmas Tree


For Christmas this year, the girls have a tree all to themselves.  They enjoyed the evening decorating their tree and wrapping presents.  Take a look and see what they've been up to!
Here are the girls around the Christmas tree, with their ornaments in hand.
Nancy, sitting with the presents and showing off her ornament.

Kirsten, getting ready to hang her snowflake.

Eowyn and Juanita and ready to hang their ornaments as well.

This is off topic, but I just made this dress for Nancy :)

The girls are now admiring their tree.  Josefina and Niña look on wearing their Christmas gowns and Mantillas.
More admiration of the tree.

I had to put in one last photo of my sweetie and her Mickey Mouse ornament ;)

Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From Charlotte With Love


Afner and I decided to go to Charlotte on Friday night to see all the Christmas decorations.  We thought we would take Juanita along for an adventure.  This weekend, Charlotte is host to the ACC Tournament, so this is a BIG weekend for Charlotte.  We are a beautiful, clean city, and I would encourage anyone to visit.  I hope all our visitors from Virginia and Florida are enjoying themselves this weekend! 

Anyway, on to the photos...
These Christmas Balls are outside at the Wachovia Plaza.  Can you spot Juanita?

Inside the Wachovia Building, chatting it up with a reindeer.

Afner and I posed for a picture in front of the HUGE Christmas Tree in the Wachovia Building.
See if you can find Juanita!

Juanita really likes going out at Night!

This is the water fountain inside the children's park.  During the summer, the fish spit water at you.

Safety First

Here is Juanita with the Firebird.

Juanita and me with the Firebird.  Love it or hate it, the Firebird is actually awesome up close.

Juanita with another huge Christmas ball.

Welcome to the Queen City!  See the crown on the Bank of America Headquarters in the background.

This is my favorite picture from the night.  Just taking a stroll through Charlotte, the city I love.

Christmas Lights at Trade Street

Juanita picked up a copy of La Noticia for her Dad to read.
The City Christmas tree at the corner of Trade and Tryon.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these photos just as much as Afner and I enjoyed taking them :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Jeans


After much consideration, I realized I have been focused solely on American Girls for the past few months, and the JP girls have gotten no attention!  In fact, they haven't even gotten any new clothes since they arrived.  I thought it would be appropriate for them to have jeans to wear, since it is now fall and the weather is getting colder and colder.  I tried for several hours to make jeans, and failed.  Then, finally, I arrived at the perfect pattern!
Chalky, Juanita, and Eowyn modeling their new denim.

Close up.  Chalky's jeans are a light denim, with hemmed bottoms.  Juanita has light denim with distressed bottoms.  Eowyn has a dark wash denim with distressed bottoms.

The girls taking a walk through the leaves.

The girls are borrowing sweaters from their American Girl cousins.  They don't quite fit right, but they look pretty cute anyway.  The next thing I need to learn to do is knit, so I can make them proper, homemade sweaters :)

Here is a slideshow of all the photos Afner took this afternoon:

My Newest "Doll"


My suegra bought me a little stove for Josie, so I went to put it in her room, and this is what I saw:

It was none other than Sorsha, the World's Most Spoiled Cat.  I'm pretty sure she's been eyeballing this bedroom for awhile, because everytime I would open the doors to the doll house, she would run towards it.  She knocked Josie out of bed, and completely wrecked up her room!

Poor Josie :(

Well, like I said, Sorsha is the World's Most Spoiled Cat.  Here she is today, in her new bed.  I moved Josie upstairs for a slumber party with Addy until Sorsha gets tired of this.  Notice the new stove on the right.  It lights up and everything!  I will get it installed properly once this cat gets out of Josie's room...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My 2 Favorite Girls in Costa Rica


This post is a little bit late, but I just got back my pictures from Costa Rica.  We forgot to take our camera, so we had to buy a disposable camera and take photos "the old fashioned way."  I finally had them developed, and they are definitely not as high quality as with the good camera, but they still came out okay.

Here they are, my sweet girls at Playa Hermosa.  Hopefully when we return to Costa Rica next summer, we will get some better photos.  I want to take some photos in Afner's hometown of Grecia with my girls.  I tried to find a traditional Costa Rican outfit for my girls to wear, but the only doll sized items they had were $40!!  I will try to make something for them before we return.  Maybe a soccer shirt :-D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

$5 Nancy Famosa


I got lucky and found a $5 Nancy doll at Goodwill!  This is my second Nancy from Goodwill.  I'm really lucky that Americans don't know about or like Nancy, because I bought both Nancys for under $10.  When I got her, the spring inside her body was stretched VERY badly and the poor girl was flopping all over the place.

See how she just flops over?  Well, I immediately went to Lowe's and bought a new spring.  But the new spring was too tight and her head kept popping off!  There was a little wire inside the body which held the head on tight.  I cut apart a metal clothes hanger and wrapped it around the piece that goes into her head to serve as an anchor...and ta da!

Here she is, able to stand up and hold her head up high!

Here is a close-up of her pretty face.  I think she needs some lip paint touch up.  She has a little cupid's bow rub.

She came in this awful blue dress.  I detest it.  I'm working on my sewing skills, so I will try to make her a new, cuter outfit soon.

I'm not sure about what Nancy she is, or what year, or anything like that, because I'm new to Nancy dolls, but I do know she is just adorable :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Josefina's New Goodies


While I was in Costa Rica, I thought I would pick up some cute stuff for Josefina.  Also, since coming back, I have acquired her desk, heirlooms (shawl, choker, and fan), bedside table, niña doll, and Christmas dress.

In this photo, you can see her new shawl draped over the end of her bed, her niña doll in her arm, her writing desk, her bedside table, and all her new handmade pottery from Costa Rica.  As you can see, she got A LOT of pottery.  La Suegra went a little crazy buying them for me, but of course, I don't mind :)  They are really cute, and very well made.  And she bought all of them for around $3.  Fantastic!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beautiful Clodrey Crissy Reroot


I purchased a TLC Clodrey Crissy from France some time ago with the intent of rerooting her. 

Here's the poor girl as I received her.  She was nasty and horrible.  You can see I gave her a bath, and I cleaned her eyes.  Then I removed what was left of her hair.  Then, poor Crissy sat, head detached, for 6 months.  I finally decided it wasn't fair to her, because I have too many projects and not enough time, so I listed her on eBay. 

Di from Austrailia bought her, and completely rerooted and dressed her.  Here are the new photos:

Simply gorgeous!

She is just so stunning.  I was jealous :)  Luckily, Di agreed to do some trading with me somewhere down the road! How lucky!  We are going to trade dolls for services.  I just have to decide what doll I want rerooted, then choose a doll to send to Di for payment.  I can't wait!